The image of a strong, independent woman that I have carefully tried to build throughout the years falls apart when I decide that I like to bake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not like to bake because I am female; I like to bake because I absolutely love desserts. As a matter of fact, I learned to love desserts (not candy… never candy) so much, that I got my first cavity 15 years past the time when it is socially acceptable for you to get cavities (you know, when you’re like four), and I completely blame this on me discovering my own ability to make sweets by myself.
Today was one of those special days when I was able to succumb to the demands of the kitchen without making sandwiches.
See, today I was supposed to go on an adventure to Whole Foods because Whole Foods is supposed to be this fancy, magical place that has fancy, magical foods.
I was very disappointed to discover that it was only sophisticated because people who have money and drive Mercedes Benz’s are willing to pay $40 for a pound of mushrooms, while the rest of the world can do with sliced portobello packed in a styrofoam container. It was worth it, though, because I was able to eat macarons (and to finally learn the difference between a macaroon and a macaron), but again, it was a downer because they were not everything that I had expected after four years of seeing them on Tumblr everyday.
As we were next to a very fashionable cookie stand, though, Alex sees these butter cookies, dipped in chocolate and something that might have been anything from pistachios to ground wasabi peas (although if my life depended on it, I would guess pistachios), he mentioned his deep and profound love for butter cookies, and talked about them as if the Mysterious Butter Cookies and himself had a long-term relationship that no one was aware of.
Now, I am a nice human being (or at least I like to believe so), so, seeing how he desired these cookies that did not look particularly interesting to me, I decided to come home and bake some myself.
I (or he, because they are for him, after all) was very lucky because everything I needed to bake could be found at home, and when you cannot drive and/or have no interest in doing so, not having to beg anyone -who is in turn going to nag you about your license-less life- for a ride, simply makes your day.
I started looking up different recipes for these butter cookie things, and since my brother at some point visited Paris, I figures that Martha Stewart’s French Butter Cookies were appropriate (yeah, it was the international factor and not the fact that they did not need any strange ingredients that could be found at Walmart and not inside my pantry).
Since I am trying to raise my BAL, I decided to add some Kahlúa. I had a bottle at home because Family A gave it to Family B (mine) as a Three Kings Day/Epiphany, or, how I actually call it Día de los tres reyes magos gift. My family is Colombian, yes, but that does not mean we are obsessed with coffee (or cocaine… I know you were thinking of how hilarious that joke was), so we were not really familiar with this mysterious liqueur called Kahlúa, with an exotic name and a bottle so pretty that probably explains 75 percent of the cost of the product.
I want to emphasize that I looked into this mysterious Kahlúa, and I discovered that it was made with rum, which I know is made from sugar cane.
So, I want you to imagine my face, my thoughts, and my feelings, when I tasted my fancy French Butter Cookies, which Martha Stewart’s website described as “sublime” and realized that they were salty.
I want to say that again. My butter cookies, made with two different kinds of sugar, butter, more sugar, and sugar-based Kahlúa had a not-so-subtle hint of salt. No.. it was not really a hint. If you tried one right now, you’d probably think I put salt instead of sugar.
At first, I thought that my taste buds had failed me, but on second thought, I realized that they were working just fine, and that my cookies, which were supposed to be these diabetic, cavity-inducing, succulent French treats, were actually salty. Surely, that 1/2 tbs. of salt could not have made my gigantic ball of dough taste like that.
And indeed, it did not.
After cursing my luck and iodized salt, I realized that I had used salted butter when it was supposed to be unsalted. I never really cared to choose salted versus unsalted butter, and I always opted for the former because, I don’t really know why, and, up until now, everything had come out decent. I never really thought that at some point, that salt part was going to make a difference.
So sure, it’s cool. I failed. I made some cookies, and they were not the best ones. Except that I did not make some cookies. I made five dozen French Salt Cookies, which, according to my very poor calculus, is equivalent to 60 units. I have sixty nasty cookies just chilling on my counter, and I have to, somehow, get rid of them.
Now I am kind of concerned. Just how much salt is there on that butter? Because I added an egregious amount of sugar to that dough… What are we feeding ourselves, America?!
I will think about the answer to this as I munch on my Salty Butter Cookies… I can’t really feed these to Alex, or anyone for that matter. They will think I hate them.
At least I can now scratch “baker” off my list of professions to consider.